Rice University logoDr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum
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Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging Laboratory

Optical Hallmarks of Aggressive Clones within Oral Field Cancerization

Agency:  NCI / NIH

Collaborators:  Rebecca Richards-Kortum (Rice), Richard Schwarz (Rice), Ann Gillenwater (UTMDACC), Nadarajah Vigneswaran (UTHSC)

The development and progression of oral cancer is a molecular process, reflecting a complex succession of genetic changes within a field-at-risk.  While much progress has been made to understand the molecular alterations associated with oral cancer progression, this research has not yet led to improvements in early detection mainly because molecular analysis methods are costly and can only be carried out with tissues obtained from invasive biopsies.  The goal of this project is to validate the ability of multimodal optical imaging to improve early detection and to determine whether risk-related optical markers (RROMs) can be used to predict the likelihood of malignant progression.  We will perform longitudinal studies in patients with oral lesions using cutting edge autofluorescence and microendoscopy technology with automated diagnostic algorithms.


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